Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.
He made himself nothing; a he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. b8
And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross.
Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God's saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.
In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing,
so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.
Hold tightly to the word of life, so that when Christ returns, I will be proud that I did not lose the race and that my work was not useless.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)